Kiowa grad eyes medical career in McAlester

Submitted photoMadison Slawson, right, shadows Dr. Kamron Torbati at the McAlester Regional Health Center with the goal of returning home after graduating from Oklahoma State University’s medical school.

McALESTER, Okla. — Madison Slawson wants to come back home to help people.

The 2014 Kiowa graduate has experienced how to perform a cesarean section, a laparoscopic surgery and more while shadowing Dr. Kamron Torbati at McAlester Regional Health Center. She is a medical student at Oklahoma State University partaking in a Summer Rural Externship with the idea of practicing in the area after graduation.

“The goal is to come back to the McAlester area, not just cause I have family here, but because they allowed me to start volunteering and shadowing so young — pretty much all my entire clinical experience before medical school was from the hospital here,” Slawson said. “So I think that it’s a way to give back to the hospital that’s given me a lot too.”

Slawson graduated with a degree from OSU before completing her first year of medical school this year.

OSU’s externship program is a two-week rotation designed to reinforce a student’s interest in a rural practice and to prepare the student for clerkships, according to the program’s website. Clerkships include clinical office experience in a small rural community, with community service and interdisciplinary shadowing.

The externship is an elective course offered the summer after completion of the first year of medical school aiming to send more doctors to rural areas.

She wanted to be a doctor since childhood — like it was “an innate instinct” — and never considered pursuing any other career, Slawson said.

However, she didn’t know which branch of the medical field interested her more.

She began shadowing professionals and volunteering in McAlester early in her high school career before she started shadowing Dr. Kamron Torbati in 2015. Torbati is an obstetrician-gynecologist who graduated from St. Georges University in Grenada, West Indies, and came to McAlester in 2015.

“I really thought I wouldn’t like it at all, but now I think it’s exactly what I want to do,” Slawson said.

Torbati is on the faculty at Oklahoma State University and Oklahoma City University’s physician assistant program and said Slawson is an exceptional student.

He said Slawson’s kindness combined with her decisiveness and intelligence gives her great potential as an obstetrician-gynecologist and she “is going into medicine for the right reasons.”

“I can tell that she really cares and wants to take care of people,” Torbati said.

“She’s going to be an excellent physician,” Torbati added.

Slawson said she has gained more clinical experience through the program than she has in medical school.

Within just a couple of days, Torbati said Slawson shadowed him in a cesarean section and a laparoscopic surgery.

“Her dexterity is really excellent and she’s got that basic makeup of physical skill that it takes to be a good surgeon,” Torbati said.


O'Hanlon is the news editor for McAlester News Capital, a CNHI News Service publication.

Contact Adrian O’Hanlon III at aohanlon@mcalesternews.com

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